In the hurly burly rush to be somewhere else that life has become, it is pleasant to stroll the mesmerizing and tranquil gardens of City Farm in East Perth. This year sees City Farm hosting, for the first time in the city, the 2011 Creative Connections Art and Poetry Exhibition. The exhibition is an eclectic collection of artwork produced by people with special needs under the care of Disability Services Commission, the Centre for Cerebral Palsy, Nulsen Association and Bethanie Group. According to Maureen Sexton, one of the founding organizers, “the exhibition has been organized with the purpose of demonstrating through creative pursuits, the diverse abilities and personalities of people with disabilities and to enable people with disabilities, the community and community groups to connect with each other.” A quick search of the website and scrolling through past exhibitions reveals how diverse those personalities can be.
This year’s exhibition, commencing with the launch at City Farm on Sunday 7th August, 11am – 4pm and everyday 10am – 4 pm until Wednesday 10th August after which it moves to the Food Court at Centro Galleria until Saturday 13th August, again reflects the unstructured, raw honesty of the artists. Colours and form erupt on the canvas as an explosion of inner emotions and desires in an urgent eagerness to communicate from artists who are often non-verbal. Sobering and an appreciation for what we have are feelings that quickly arise when viewing the exhibition.
If a picture can paint a thousand words, then a poet can distil those words to their essence. This is what WA poets do, backed with some basic knowledge of the artist, when interpreting the artwork. Their words lend a voice to the often non-verbal artist. To quote poet, Liana Joy Christensen “I feel absolutely that I have been given a priceless gift from each artist: the very same opportunity to play and have fun. A fantastic way to be inspired and create something new. Each half of the creative connection pair is equal in that process. This is the real heart of art. “
For a moment when strolling around the exhibition and marvelling at the artwork and being inspired by the poetry you can forget about all the issues that cloud your day and return to the joy and simplicity of the young and the young at heart.